4,000th image, local D-Day stories and much more at ‘Bygone Buriton’ event

Heritage Picture

Scores of people visited the annual ‘Bygone Buriton’ exhibition ... 

Scores of people visited the annual ‘Bygone Buriton’ exhibition – brought forward from its normal September date to coincide with the 80th anniversary of D-Day in June.

As usual, the local history event attracted people from far away as well as from the village and nearby, providing lots of opportunities for memories to be shared and for new information to be discovered about life in the parish over many decades.

The special D-Day display was a particular attraction, recalling how hundreds of troops had been camped in and around the parish, with some other fascinating information about local connections to each phase of the invasion, including some first-hand accounts.

By bringing all these stories together, the exhibition illustrated the scale, complexity, secrecy and bravery of Operation Overlord ‘through local eyes’ and a number of copies of the special D-Day publication (see here) were snapped up by visitors.

The search to try to identify exactly which Canadian Units spent time in the parish continues – and anyone with any ideas or information about this is encouraged to contact Doug Jones (01730 231326 or email doug.pam@btinternet.com).

Visitors brought other interesting material to the event and have now helped the project reach another significant milestone.

Amongst the photos scanned into the village archives was one which became the 4,000th to be collected by the project since its launch in 2000: quite an achievement for such a small community.

It’s known that there will be a small number of duplicates within that total (as some old photos have been received from more than one source) – and not all are technically photographs because there are some images of documents and copies of press cuttings etc.

But it seemed appropriate that the 4,000th entry in the archives is a somewhat unusual picture taken in a very familiar part of the village, the High Street, decorated with bunting and flags. The photograph shows a splendidly attired Albert Arthur Bridger celebrating the Silver Jubilee of King George V & Queen Mary in 1935.

Other material brought to the event included more photos of Buriton’s football teams from decades ago, more hop-picking photos, an interesting sketch diagram of the old lambing area up at Dean Barn (showing it as it was in about 1938) and documents from the 1790s, 1830, 1867 and 1927 relating to the Nursted Estate. 

Copies of all the local history books (see here) were on sale alongside other wide-ranging informative displays featuring: hop growing and picking; the Buriton and Butser chalk quarries and lime works; the village school; and changes in farming the countryside around the village.

More details about the Buriton Heritage Bank local history project are available via this website (Buriton Heritage - researching the history of local life in Buriton, Hampshire) and anybody who might have any information or be able to help with research in any way is encouraged to contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326 or via doug.pam@btinternet.com